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live domi n ico. looks like a protester is being removed. senator feinstein asked for protesters to be removed from the room. i was not able to catch a glimpse of the banner they were holding. it's not unusual to see these disruptions. but we'll get more on exactly what was going on there but these are live pictures right now. you hear the gavel but just quickly -- let's just -- we were going to talk about hagel but i want to talk about brennan. you are expecting fireworks, right? that's what we've been talking about. >> i think we expect brennan to be confirmed, especially considering polls on drones, for example, show 83% of americans a year ago support the president's use of drones overseas. that doesn't mean that there isn't a significant and deep disaffection for the use of them or, for example, we talked about it yesterday, or the which are or enhanced interrogation techniques as the bush administration called it. all of that is stuff john brennan knows a heck of a lot about and people will be outraged he is president obama's nominee. >> we discussed this prior but original
hearing for john brennan. the chairwoman of the senate select committee on intelligence dianne feinstein cleared the room following a series of interruptions, protesting america's use of drones. >> i think they're not going to -- >> the spies. assassination. >> and expect more fireworks as brennan is grilled by other members of the committee. nbc's kelly o'donnell is following the action live on capitol hill. where are we right now? >> reporter: well, this is quite a day. if you are interested in this kind of policy, there was so much to watch today and so much that will yet unfold. it really is fascinating. and what you see with the protests, when's unusual here, there are protests on a regular basis around capitol hill. but the scale, how many people were involved, how loud they were, the signs, the clearing of the hearing room, that is unusual. we haven't seen that really since the early days of the iraq war. so it is significant. and of course, john brennan has a long history in the intelligence community spanning administrations. and this is a job he very much wants and he does have
really being the key point person to be able to take through feinstein's newly introduced bill and any other type of measures that the president would like to see put through the senate first. do you think, though, that harry reid being a pro-gun democrat, is the best person to helm this through the senate side? >> you were just talking about members of the house and senate in a vacuum, some of that may be true but i believe the president's strategy is the right one by going right to the american people and making the case that we need universal background checks eliminating the loopholes at gun shows that don't require background checks, going to the american people, talking about an assault weapons ban and also banning high capacity magazines, in an effort to continue to raise awareness, i'm sure the president will talk about this in the state of the union and to help build momentum, i'm organizing an effort with my colleagues, asking members of congress and the house anyway, to give their one state of the union guest ticket to a person who has been a victim of gun violence or family
and agreed to hand over the documents to congress. dianne feinstein who heads the intelligence committee says lawmakers should know what brennan knew and when he knew it. she released a statement saying it's critical for the committee's oversight function to fully understand the legal basis for all intelligence and counter-terrorism operations. >>> in a speech last summer, brennan said the use of drone strikes by the u.s. turned al qaeda into a shadow of what it once was. under president obama, the program has been used to take out more than 400 terrorist targets in pakistan and the middle east. >>> potential cuts in the defense department budget are already forcing changes in american military operations. the pentagon says it will reduce the naval presence in the persian gulf. plans for the uss harry truman carrier to head to the gulf this week have been canceled. that would leave one carrier in the region. defense secretary leon panetta warns under the cuts pentagon workers could face furloughs saying, this is not a game this is reality. >>> vice president joe biden made an emotional appeal
statement five times, committee chair dianne feinstein cleared the room leaving it nearly ended as brennan defended the drone program and senators shared their frustrationses. >> with the exception of mr. panetta, i feel i've been drug around by every director. >> 11 united states senators asked to see any and all legal opinions, but when i went to read the opinions this morning, it is not clear that that is what was provided. >> do you happen to know the reason why our staff are not permitted when we are permitted? >> having the executive being the prosecutor, the judge, the jury and the executioner all in one is very contrary to traditions and the laws of this country. >> for the first time dianne feinstein said publicly that the committee will consider the creation of a special court to oversee evidence against americans who might be targeted by strikes. brennan was also pressed about his evolving answers on enhanced int interrogation methods. >> what steps did you take to stop cia from moving to these techniques you now say you found objectionable at the time? >> i did not take steps t
to talk to pat robertson, me, or saxby chambliss and dianne feinstein but not anybody else? until we literally bludgeoned them into agreeing to include everybody. like carl levin's not trustworthy? you know, i think it's amazing. >> i don't think he meant literally bludgeoned. but still. this was the really unexpected clear partisan divide of the day. democrats demanding more ability to oversee what the intelligence community does, more access to more information by more people including their staffers. and republicans chastising john brennan for what they view as him providing too much information to the public, not keeping enough secrets. you always hear that there is broad bipartisan agreement on matters of intelligence and national security in washington now. that was not the case today. at least on this issue. and that's not necessarily a bad thing. but it tells you that we really do still have two very different parties in this country when it comes to national security. common wisdom be damned. ♪ if it wasn't for you ♪ don't know what i'd do ♪ i'd have nothing to prove [
the senate. feinstein effort, hard line gun control assault weapons ban that everyone says has a little chance of the senate let alone the house. there's a big democratic bill which you mentioned with a number of these provisions in it and then a third effort, a bipartisan effort, which we haven't yet really seen the outlines of to focus on the background check area which is really where there is emerging bipartisan consensus at this point. and we're going to see over the coming months exactly where it all -- how it all shifts out. >> michael, mayors against illegal guns put out a paper today talking about 43 mass shootings, at least 4 people killed in 1 time, 43 mass shootings since january 2009. that's more than one per month. and you see the amount of energy behind the attempt to create gun control is waning even after newtown and shocked america and you have to wonder, are we as a nation getting too numb to actually get to a place of gun control? >> well, what we know about mass shootings is there's actual remarkable and rather depressing consistency. for decades now averaged about
there was another. and then another. finally, chairwoman senator dianne feinstein broke up the proceedings. >> we're going to halt the hearing. i'm going to ask that the room be cleared and that the code pink associates not be permitted to come back in. we've done this five times now and five times are enough. >> the chaos underscored the controversy of the administration's policy. many americans want to know how the united states can order the killings of american citizens without due process. earlier today the justice department provided congress with classified documents about the targeted killing program. this disclosure was sparked by a leaked memo obtained by nbc news saying the government gets to define which individuals are considered imminent threats. but senators were not allowed to talk about the documents, which are still classified. senator feinstein did say it's time for full disclosure. >> when i asked to give out the actual numbers, i'm told you can't. i say why not? because it's classified. it's a covert program. for the public it doesn't exist. well, i think that rationale, mr.
democrat and i'm willing to criticize him say he hasn't read the bill. mayor dianne feinstein has been a mayor. she's been in a shooting. she knows why she needs this. let's support the president and get some things done. >> however, momentum does seem to be building behindmost of the president's proposals. "wall street journal" saying the senate democrats include a bill limiting magazine clips and universal background checks despite continuing opposition of the nra. >> it's a fraud to call it universal. it is never going to be universal. the criminals aren't going to comply with it. they could care less. >>> and factor this one in. an ad by mayors against illegal guns ran during the super bowl. it pointed out that the nra once supported closing the so-called gun show loophole. >> the nra once supported background checks. >> we think it's reasonable to provide mandatory instant criminal background checks for every sale at every gun show. no loopholes anywhere for anyone. >> let me bring in our political panel. radio talk show host and ms nns contributor michael smerkonish, mar gi o may
, they are playing in the super bowl. a piece on senator dianne feinstein's proposed gun bill. on the front page of the press enterprise in inland, california, a growing concern of solar farms where you see solar panels. developers are buying up so much farmland some officials worry too much farmland will disappear. >>> we have heard the second term curse. in the new issue of washington magazine, president obama should learn from president dwight eisenhower. the way to avoid the curse is be like ike. joining me is evan thomas. he wrote "ike's bluff." welcome, so glad you are here. >> hi, alex. >> what is so great about ike? >> he was enormously confident but the confidence to be humble. this is kind of a useful lesson for all of us, but particularly second term presidents. it goes well if you are humble. he learned it growing up and as commander in world war ii. he showed as president, he has a nice modesty and humility to get things done. >> how does that reconcile with a guy who ranks being a five-star general, you have to have an ego to do that. >> sure. he learned how to control it. he used
that was introduced last month by senator dianne feinstein, and that you heard mentioned again today by the president. now, that's not necessarily a done deal. that's not necessarily final. if that bill reaches the senate, the senate floor without a ban onol are not as concerned about the assault weapons ban as they are with some other elements of the president's package. jim kessler of americans for gun safety says, quote, if you are going to die at the hands of a criminal with a gun, it's going to be a handgun. and statistically speaking, which is what he means, that might be true. but it's not handguns that terms to crack down on. the other need on this show we heard from connecticut's new senator chris murphy, who represented newtown when he was first elected to congress in the house. he is now a senator and represents the whole state. we called senator murphy's office tonight to get his reaction to this reporting of how gun policy reform might move through the senate. he said, quote, too many people in washington want to eulogize specific pieces of common-sense gun reform before the debate has e
-- >> senator feinstein zsh if you could please expedite the removal. >>> we have michael isakoff, and the correspondent who obtained the white page memo, jim warren, chicago editor of the daily beast and newsweek and karen finney and john braybender. michael, i want to start with you because it was your reporting that started all of this for the american people to get to learn more about how the administration feels it is legal in the choices made for drone strikes. one thing politico is reporting in the article that they have on this and, of course, the two hearings we were watching yesterday, one being leon panetta on benghazi and the other one with john brennan in the afternoon, it says, senators were looking for a pinata, for hours, brennan was battered by senators even though many of the complaints had little or nothing to do with him. what did we learn? what did we walk away with? >> actually, very little. although i think there was a lot of expectations that we were going to get more transparency, particularly because president obama had just the night before said senators
it to the first contest. few others contemplated running. she never took any real steps to run. diane feinstein dropped hints at a future white house bid on her mind in the late 1980s only to then lose the governors race to pete wilson in 1990. instead of running for the top job in 1992, feinstein was left to settle for a senate seat, a seat she has been happy to keep since then. and that is really it as far as female prospects for the democratic prospect. until 2008 when hillary clinton won 18 million votes and a bunch of primaries and caucuses. where she lost to a black man who went on to win the white house and defeated a republican ticket that included a woman. excuse me. it included a woman. in the wake of all of that, the notion that the terms presidential prospect in white guy went happened in hand to feel antiquated. the clear front runner for the democratic ticket is hillary. she has the potential to clear out the race. many would be candidates would think twice if clinton was in the race. if she passes on it, it wouldn't mean a return to all male fields. kirst kirsten gillibran and am
. senator feinstein was obviously working behind the scenes. and so finally last night around 6:30, 7:00 last night, the white house relented and the president called wyden. i know you guys are going to talk to wyden later. but this is a very big deal because now the drone policy is going to be central to this confirmation hearing today. >> you know, yesterday pete wehner wrote this. and he's quoting barack obama from may 29th, 2009, the famous speech at the national archives. where he says, let me be clear. we are at war with al qaeda, but we need to update our institutions and do so with an abiding confidence in the rule of law and due process. in checks and balances and accountability for reasons i will explain, the decisions were made over the last eight years during the bush years established an ad hoc legal approach for fighting terrorism that was neither effective nor sustainable. a framework that failed to rely on our legal traditions and time-tested institutions and that failed to use our values as a compass. those words, steve, whether you agree with this drone program or no
. they released it clearly because ron widen and other democrats were saying, look if we -- dianne feinstein, if we don't get this, it's going to be a problem. you don't want it to be more of a public problem with john brennan than it already is going to be, but the hearing is already i think shaping up to be a debate. among democrats and republicans, but a lot of folks -- should we be telling -- you don't want them to turn into an all-out back and forth over this. if you give us this document, it might not be great for john brennan, but it seems likely we're not going to hold this up. it seems like he winds up getting confirmed. they did it under dur es. if -- in a perfect world i don't think the white house would have chosen to just sort of put this documentation out there. the timing of it suggests they wouldn't. >> well, let's take a look, a quick look, at john brennan back at the woodrow wilson center back in april last april with his explanation for why he believed that drones do conform to principles of humanity and here's his words. >> targeted strikes conform to the principle of hum
a bill to come out of the judicial committee. if dianne feinstein by the time it's through the judiciary committee, if she doesn't have her assault weapons, at least let her have an opportunity to offer this amendment. >> will you vote for it? >> oh, i don't know. frankly, and she knows, i haven't read her amendment. i didn't vote for the assault weapons last time because it didn't make sense. but i'll take a look at it. >> mayor, is senator reid doing enough to move this legislation? >> i believe he should read the amendment and listen to a former mayor, dianne feinstein, who stuck her finger in a bullet hole at a scene of a crime. that's what we see as mayors. in washington assault ban weapon, it's a political issue. here is how it sounds to me. my daughter will be teaching school next year. if somebody is in the horrible situation of shooting in that classroom, and they're forced to reload the gun, that may be my daughter's life, that may be your child's life. force people to reload. my god, if we can't do that, it's horrible enough about what is happening out here. but stop and think
weapons that was introduced last month by senator dianne feinstein, and that you heard mentioned again today by the president. now, that's not necessarily a done deal. that's not necessarily final. if that bill reaches the senate, the senate floor without a ban on assault weapons included, it is possible lawmakers could then amend the bill on the senate floor to include the ban. but they also might not. sam stein at "huffington post" reported today that the assault weapons ban might be strategically sacrificed in order for the rest of the president's plan to go through. sam stein reporting that advocates for gun control are not as concerned about the assault weapons ban as they are with some other elements of the president's package. jim kessler of americans for gun safety says, quote, if you are going to die at the hands of a criminal with a gun, it's going to be a handgun. and statistically speaking, which is what he means, that might be true. but it's not handguns that people remember from a tragedy like what happened at sandy hook elementary in december. it's assault weapons that n
? >> dianne feinstein, the chair of the committee yesterday still saying yesterday they wanted the original documents. then today on our program at 1:00, the house chairman who carries a lot of weight about and has is very supportive, a former fbi guy, a republican, though, said he also thought the original memos should be turned over, that the white paper that had been turned over to them last summer that michael isikoff uncovered and reported first on your show was not good enough. that it needed to finally be the actual legal guidance that was turned over to the oversight committees. and we're talking about the two intelligence committees, rachel, who handle classified information all the time. and there haven't been any leaks out of those committees. so they were facing a confirmation hearing that was potentially contentious. and also, other answers were given to the committee that were revealed today from john brennan. we can talk about that after a moment. they knew that there were other issues they were going to have to deal with. they needed to get this off the table. >> well, in te
the stops to nail him. >>> plus, senator feinstein says lawmakers may set up special courts to monitor drone strikes. why apple is sitting on over $137 billion in cash. and an as tried is about to come fascinatingly close to the earth. >>> millions along the northeast corridor are hunkering down for an epic winter storm. folks are stocking up and filling their tanks in anticipation of the massive nor'easter packing blizzard speed winds and crippling feet of snow. analyze are airlines have canceled thousands of flights as this storm travels across the country. dylan dryer is tracking the storm. >> it's going to be a bad storm with blizzard conditions across the northeast. blizzard conditions mean you need visibility under a quarter mile for three hours or more. and winds are going to be very gusty. it certainly looks like that is going to be a possibility. it's coming in pieces. we have your cold piece and your wet piece. this is going to move in from the south. you can see heavier rain is falling across eastern virginia, move into eastern north carolina. that's the moisture we're working wit
hearing, forcing a frustrated senator dianne feinstein to clear the room. >> please clear the room. please clear the room. >> stand up against torture, stand up against drones, do what we can not to confirm this man. >> they won't even tell congress what country we are killing children? >> if you could please expa did it the removal -- >> are our children more important than the children of pakistan and yemen? do your jobs! >> the capitol police confirm eight people were arrested at the hearing for unlawful conduct. >>> it was a separate hearing on capitol hill that offered new insights into the white house's decision-making concerning the civil war in syria. it happened as outgoing secretary leon panetta and martin dempsey were testifying before the senate armed services committee. they were asked about the administration's decision not to arm the syrian rebels in their effort to overthrow the assad regime. the plan had received support from the pentagon, the cia, secretary clinton. but ultimately it was the white house that turned down the idea. >> both of you agreed with petraeus and cl
and hillary clinton and joe biden and dianne feinstein and chuck schumer and 24 other democrats in the senate and all but one of the republicans in the senate all voted yes. and yeah, there were democrats who were against the war from the beginning. and that one republican, lincoln chaffee. but there were enough democrats who said yes and went along with it. that's part of the reason the war happened. the difference over time is that republican chuck hagel and most of the democrats who were wrong about iraq, they figured out that they were wrong and they turned against the war and ultimately they tried to end the war because it had been a mistake. we can say mistake in the technical sense here, right? the war was started to go get weapons of mass destruction from saddam and to stop saddam from helping al qaeda. well, saddam had no relationship with al qaeda that we were stopping. and saddam had no weapons of mass destruction. it was wrong. the war was factually wrong. right? we have learned that. this is not a controversial assertion. john mccain led the senate today in trying ton just stop c
over their shoulder. >> i want to read senator diane dpin stei feinstein, her statement this morning says in part as president obama said at time of his death, alaki was the operations leader of aqap. he directed the failed attempt to blow up an airplane on christmas day 2009 and responsible for attempts to blow up cargo planes in 2010. recruiting others to kill americans until the time of his death in yemen. essentially people read in to that this is a statement that the bad guys were planning something. so this is what needs to happen. you hear a lot of people say, how can you defend these people who were plotting against americans. >> right. so let's just assume that everything that that statement says about al alawaki is true? this is going to be true of others killed by drone strikes. they have not been under him. one was khan that grew up here in new york. another was a 16-year-old kid. nobody has ever alleged he did anything wrong. you have to make sure that you have checks and balances in place because some of the people that the government target may not be the worse guys in
intelligence committee, not the chair, dianne feinstein who we'll be talking to tomorrow. but ron widen is asking this question and down at the retreat in annapolis, he told our own mike viqueira, every american has the right to know when their government believes that it is allowed to kill them. >> you know, this is an issue that puts president obama at odds with his base. when he came into the white house, he was very critical of the bush administration for waterboarding, for enhanced -- he called for more transparency. the administration has not been transparent. it's only because of a leak that we know as much as we do about the targeting of american, how it's done, when it's allowed. and that's why we're going to have a discussion about this and that's also why it does not imperil brennan's nomination. because the people who are most distressed about there are part of the core democratic groups that are going to vote with the president i think when it comes to john brennan. but it is an opportunity to have a conversation that we have not had yet. >> and one of the questions is why
calling for the original justice department memo to be released senate intelligence chair dianne feinstein suggested full transparency has already been achieved, quote. i have been calling for the public release of the administration's legal analysis of the use of lethal force, particularly against u.s. citizens, for more than a year. that analysis is now public, and the american people can review and judge the legality of these operations. the bottom line is that the white house doesn't steam have much of a political problem with the public. the public is intent to go after the bad guys, if you will, regardless of the concerns of a slippery slope, and unless the public begins to share in the outrage, congress may not show it, but it's amazing that one of the three branches of government doesn't want to know why it does not have oversight over this executive branch policy. >>> finally, the reason we're here in chicago today. last night i sat down with the brain trust of the obama and the romney campaigns. eight of the top advisers, all in one room at the university of chicago's institute o
really need to do this. >> he was -- on sunday he didn't -- he read dianne feinstein's -- >> he made it very clear that this was not going because of the interests in the state where they're building and manufacturing. the question i think that you ultimately come down to and luke and others may hear this on the hell is with this whole idea of the assault weapons ban per se, people are buying these guns. it's the number one seller, the ar-15. they're getting them in droves. they're not just buying one. they're buying three, four. does ban then lead to confiscation? you have now armed a significant portion of the gun population. >> well, 300 more americans own guns than cars. >> there were 1.5 million preban assault weapons. 25 million preban high capacity making sfwleenz, and 4.7 million high capacity magazines. >> speaking to the concern that people have and what i hear from the gun owners that i know and some of them who own some of these weapons, that is their legitimate fear that this becomes a slippery slope and becomes the door that opens and allows the federal government to co
with drone strikes. the committee's chair dianne feinstein eventually cleared the room. later, brennan cited the protesters when he address what had he called a misperception about the goal of the drone strikes. let's listen. >> i think there is a misimpression on the part of some american people who believe that we take strikes to punish terrorists for past transgressions. nothing could be further from the truth. we only take such actions as a last resort to save lives when there's no other alternative to taking an action that's going to mitigate that threat. so we need to make sure there is an understanding and the people that were standing up here today, i think they really have a misunderstanding of what we do as a government and the care that we take and the agony that we go through to make sure that we do not have any collateral injuries or deaths. >> robin, when he described this as a last resort to save lives, one reaction i had is among the lives we save when we use drones are those of troops who otherwise would be going into harm's way. >> absolutely. i lived in beirut when jesse j
is more precise and careful than most people imagine. i notice that chairman feinstein in the course of her rashgsz side-stepping classified information made that point that from what the committee sees, the targeting is very precise. >> do you think that the president should have the sole phenyl authority over this. we're told by public reports that there is actually a kill list and that the president goes through names and the intelligence himself. >> should there be some other check and ballot ability of a president, any president, to make life and death decisions over americans who are connected to terrorist groups or are suspected of being connected to terrorist groups. >> i think that's a tough question. i think it does bare examination. he clearly is responsible and accountab accountable. since lyndon johnson did get involved. since then presidents typically have not gotten into the targeting loop that is choosing specific targets. >> that is a departure from past practice, and i think the idea of looking at a court or some other thing inserted into the decision process has so
feinstein. >> if you could please expedite the removal. >> more important than the children of pakistan and yemen? are they more important? do your job! >> the hearing serve as a public discussion of the most controversial counterterrorism policies that began under president george w. bush and, in part, have continued and expanded under president obama. brennan's defense of the secrecy surrounding the administration's most questionable program, targeted assassinations using drone aircraft, was as opaque as the program itself. >> what we need to do is optimize transparency on these issues, but at the same time optimize secrecy and the protection of our national security. i don't think that it's one or the other. it's trying to optimize both of them. >> some senators, including ron widen and angus king, pushed brennan to explain the legal at and justification for assassinating american citizens abroad. >> every american has the right to know when their government believes it's allowed to kill them. >> i understand you can't have co-commanders in chief, but having the executive being the p
said california senator dianne feinstein will have an opportunity to present the provision as an amendment once the bill reaches the senate floor. remember there's a whole bunch of red tape democrats want to actively cascade a vote against the assault weapons ban so they can show they are pro-gun. >> the super bowl ad new york city mayor's group ran in the d.c. market focused on one part of the gun control bills and that's the background check, one pointing out the nra at one time supported closing the gun show loophole. >> we think it's reasonable to provide mandatory, instant criminal background checks for every sale at every gun show, no loopholes anywhere for anyone. >> 14 years later on fox news sunday lapierre said the group's position changed warning it would lead to a universal registry of gun owners and eventually the confiscation of guns. >> it's a fraud to call it universal. it's never going to be universal. the criminals aren't going to comply with it. they could care less. >> okay then. >>> minnesota's also a state where nearly one in ten people have a firearms
that chairman feinstein and i issued. we flat out say that those statements are wrong. do you have any basis to disagree with us? >> i do not. >> will you when you become cia director assuming you're confirmed take the statement we have issued and tell us whether or not you disagree with any of the statements that we have made about those statements of those three men? will do you that if you're confirmed? >> i will look and consider that request, senator. as i said, the report that this committee has put together, i need to take a look at what cia's response is. that report raises serious questions about whether any worthwhile intelligence came from these individuals. >> will you include in your review a review of our joint statement and tell us whether after your review you disagree with anything we've said? will do you that? >> i will be happy to. >> now, there's one final point, and that has to do with a very famous document. my time is not yet quite up. that has to do with a cable that came in that relates to the so-called atta matter. are you familiar with that issue? >> yes, i am. >>
slammed harry reid for saying he hadn't read dianne feinstein's bill banning assault weapons. >> how can harry reid, a fellow democrat, and i'm willing to criticize him, say he hasn't read the bill. this is an emergency. let's knock off the washington baloney and support the president and get some things done. >> the white house wants to overload washington's political circuits. an effort to see what it can get through congress without letting congress and particularly congressional republicans, define what issues get addressed. republican leaders are making it clear they prefer to talk about just one thing before the march budget shutdown. >> this was supposed to be the day that the president submitted his budget to the congress. but it's not coming. i think that's too bad. our economy could use some presidential leadership right now. >> and top senate republican mitch mcconnell was just as eager to talk budget hitting the floor to slam democrats for floating new revenue proposals. >> this is just another opportunity to trot out the democrat focus group approved policy stunt. if this is
. >> and the chair of the senate intelligence committee, dianne feinstein, who said that she did receive this memo when congress first asked last year for better explanation, still wants to see the actual legal orders and the white house just told me they're not going to turn those over because they feel that that is basically lawyer-client privilege, privilege between the president's counsel in the justice department and him. the other thing here is she did defend the use of this for the killing of al alakhi in yemen because he was involved in supposedly the plot for the christmas bombing. >> look, there seems to be a consensus within government that he was a bad guy and that we were justified in taking him out. on the other hand, critics will say, he was an american citizen. he had never been charged with a crime. >> they may have been right about him, but what kind of precedent does that set down the road when maybe it's not president obama in office. others who might have -- even other ideas about who is a threat and who is not. >> mike, i know you're going to have more on this later on nightl
anyway. >> if diane feinstein doesn't have the assault weapons at least let her have an opportunity to offer this amendment. >> will you vote for it? >> i don't know, frankly -- and she knows i didn't read her amendment. i didn't vote for the assault weapons last time because it didn't make sense, but i'll take a look at it. >> joining me now to take a look at it. editor for the new republic, good to see you, my friend. >> thanks for having me on the show, ezra. >> so that didn't sound enormously encouraging from harry reid, kind of sounded like the assault weapons ban will get a bit of a pro forma vote and that is about it. >> i think everybody knew going into the fight the different elements of the gun legislation agenda, that the assault weapons ban would be one that had the hardest road ahead. in part because you know you still need 60 votes to pass anything in the senate. and in part because the republicans control the house. and in part because the gun lobby has made this a very hard vote to have. now, i don't think it is a lost cause. i think if you believe, if you're a progr
the bill? dianne feinstein has been a mayor, she was there at a shooting, she put her finger in a bullet hole. she knows why we need this action. this is an emergency. let's knock off the washington baloney and support the president and get things done. >> what do you want to say to harry reid? >> i want to say to him that i respect him on a whole lot of levels but he's dancing around this issue and people are dying in this country. that is not news to anybody. what the president has done is with all the stuff on his plate, stuck his neck out and said look, we need to solve this. i saw what the president's face looked like when he came out of meeting those victims. i've been there. so have many mayors around this country. and we recognize the fact that this isn't about some sort of game about who wins or loses in washington. these are people's lives. it could be your kid in the school. it could be your brother. john suter, the one survivor from accent printing will be there today. thank god he's alive. >> mayor, you're a member of the coalition of mayors against illegal guns. the group b
and was sort of smacked down by dianne feinstein. but now it's out there so much that the secrecy element is gone, and i think there has to be a real discussion both about the constitutionality particularly when it comes to american citizens but also the wider ramifications of whether this is actually serving our national security cause. because whilst you're taking out some al qaeda leaders, you're causing huge amounts of resentments in some of these areas and possibly fueling the next generation of militants in places like yemen and the pakistani borders, if we extend it into somalia or mali, there are a whole lot of people who are going to feel extremely angry about missiles raining down out of the sky and taking down people not always associated with terrorism. there's a story in "the new york times" this morning of an imam who spoke out against al qaeda. operatives came to speak to him. as they were speaking under a tree to threaten him, missiles came down and took them out. what does that do in that community in terms of a sense of what america is doing, anger towards america and th
think the hardest sell on the hill right now will be senator feinstein's all-out assault weapons ban she's introduced. that's going to be a hard sell to those conservative democrats who are up for re-election in 2014, senators like mark baggage of alaska, max baucus of montana. that's going to be the hardest sell. universal background checks i think is where the consensus is building, although the senate judiciary hearing on tuesday or wednesday, one of the things that happened was that the national rifle association said that is not something that they can get behind. so you know, they're definitely going to be scoring those votes. i think it's going to be a harder sell than maybe folks originally thought when it comes to universal background checks. >> let's take a look at what's happening in massachusetts. lauren, scott scott brown saying he's not going to run for the senate seat opened up by john kerry. wasn't that the best hope republicans had to get that seat? >> a poll came out showing he had a slight lead on the democrat's candidate, ed marquee. i think he really was one of the b
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